GUILFORD — A local man died Thursday morning when his car left the roadway on Stage Road and hit a tree.
The Vermont State Police reports that at approximately 11 a.m. Joseph L. Earle, 48, of Guilford was traveling east at an undetermined rate of speed when his 2009 Toyota Tacoma left the roadway while traveling through a right curve in the road, just east of Fern Drive. The vehicle struck a large tree head-on, deflected sideways and slid down an embankment leading to a brook. The driver's side of the vehicle came to rest against a tree, preventing it from sliding to the bottom of the embankment.
Earle was found with no pulse inside the vehicle by several neighbors who heard the crash. Rescue personnel arriving on scene confirmed that Earle was deceased.
Police report there were two dogs inside the vehicle at the time. One sustained a head laceration while the second dog was trapped inside the vehicle and needed to be extricated by fire personnel. A local vet responded to the scene to assist. The first dog was taken to the veterinarian for treatment of injuries. It was determined that the second dog had sustained life threatening injuries and was euthanized.
This investigation is still on-going. Anyone with information is asked to contact the VT State Police in Westminster at 802-722-4600.